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Publication numberUS7663843 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/263,998
Publication dateFeb 16, 2010
Filing dateNov 2, 2005
Priority dateNov 2, 2005
Fee statusLapsed
Also published asUS20070097553
Publication number11263998, 263998, US 7663843 B2, US 7663843B2, US-B2-7663843, US7663843 B2, US7663843B2
InventorsMinggao Yao
Original AssigneeSae Magnetics (H.K.) Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flex cable frame assembly for micro-actuator and flex cable suspension assembly for HGA of disk drive device
US 7663843 B2
Abstract
A flex cable frame assembly for a head gimbal assembly includes a micro-actuator frame and a flex cable mounted to the micro-actuator frame. The flex cable includes a first set of bonding pads provided to one end of the flex cable, a second set of bonding pads provided to an opposing end of the flex cable, and a trace integrated to the flex cable that interconnects the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.
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Claims(24)
1. A flex cable frame assembly for a head gimbal assembly, comprising:
a micro-actuator frame including a bottom support, a top support and a pair of side arms that interconnect the bottom support and the top support; and
a frame flex cable mounted to the micro-actuator frame,
the frame flex cable including an insulated layer that is a plate body, a first set of bonding pads provided to one end of the insulated layer, a second set of bonding pads provided to an opposing end of the insulated layer, and a trace integrated to the frame flex cable that interconnects the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.
2. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 1, wherein the micro-actuator frame includes a bonding pad support integrated to the micro-actuator frame that extending outwards from the top support of the micro-actuator frame, the bonding pad support supporting one of the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.
3. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 1, wherein the micro-actuator frame includes a bonding pad support integrated to the micro-actuator frame and extending outwards from the top support of the micro-actuator frame, the bonding pad support having at least one opening that supports and exposes one of the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.
4. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 1, wherein the bottom support is adapted to be connected to a suspension of the head gimbal assembly, and wherein the top support is adapted to support a slider of the head gimbal assembly.
5. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 4, further comprising a PZT element mounted to each of the side arms, each PZT element being excitable to cause selective movement of the side arms which causes movement of the top support to cause movement of the slider.
6. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 4, wherein the insulated layer includes at least a top end portion and a bottom end portion, and the top end portion is mounted to the top support of the micro-actuator frame and the bottom end portion is mounted to the bottom support of the micro-actuator frame.
7. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 6, wherein the bottom end portion includes suspension bonding pads adapted to be electrically bonded with respective pads provided on the suspension.
8. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 6, wherein the top end portion includes slider bonding pads adapted to be electrically bonded with respective pads provided on the slider.
9. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 8, wherein the frame flex cable is mounted to a front surface of the micro-actuator frame that faces towards the slider.
10. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 8, wherein the frame flex cable is mounted to a back surface of the micro-actuator frame that faces away from the slider.
11. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 10, wherein the micro-actuator frame includes a bonding pad support integrated to the micro-actuator frame, the bonding pad support extending outwards from the top support of the micro-actuator frame and having at least one opening that exposes the slider bonding pads so that the slider bonding pads can be electrically bonded with respective pads provided on the slider.
12. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 6, wherein the frame flex cable further comprises an extension integrated to and extending from the bottom end portion, the extension including suspension bonding pads adapted to be electrically bonded with respective pads provided on the suspension.
13. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 12, wherein the frame flex cable is mounted to a front surface of the micro-actuator frame that faces towards the slider.
14. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 12, wherein the frame flex cable is mounted to a back surface of the micro-actuator frame that faces away from the slider.
15. The flex cable frame assembly according to claim 14, wherein the micro-actuator frame includes a bonding pad support integrated to the micro-actuator frame, the bonding pad support extending outwards from the top support of the micro-actuator frame and having at least one opening that exposes the slider bonding pads so that the slider bonding pads can be electrically bonded with respective pads provided on the slider.
16. A head gimbal assembly comprising:
a flex cable frame assembly including a micro-actuator frame and a frame flex cable mounted to the micro-actuator frame;
a slider; and
a suspension that supports the flex cable frame assembly and the slider, the suspension including a flex cable suspension assembly having a suspension flexure and suspension flex cable mounted to the suspension flexure;
wherein the micro-actuator includes a bottom support connected to the suspension, a top support to support the slider and a pair of side arms that interconnect the bottom support and the top support,
wherein the frame flex cable includes an insulated layer that is a plate body, a first set of bonding pads provided to one end of the insulated layer, a second set of bonding pads provided to an opposing end of the insulated layer, and a trace integrated to the frame flex cable that interconnects the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.
17. The head gimbal assembly according to claim 16, further comprising a PZT element mounted to each of the side arms, each PZT element being excitable to cause selective movement of the side arms which causes movement of the top support to cause movement of the slider.
18. The head gimbal assembly according to claim 16, wherein the insulated layer includes at least a top end portion and a bottom end portion, and the top end portion is mounted to the top support of the micro-actuator frame and the bottom end portion is mounted to the bottom support of the micro-actuator frame.
19. The head gimbal assembly according to claim 18, wherein the bottom end portion includes suspension bonding pads that are electrically bonded with respective pads provided on the suspension.
20. The head gimbal assembly according to claim 18, wherein the top end portion includes slider bonding pads that are electrically bonded with respective pads provided on the slider.
21. The head gimbal assembly according to claim 16, wherein the suspension flex cable includes an insulated layer and suspension traces integrated to the insulated layer, the suspension traces being electrically connected to bonding pads that are adapted to be connected to an external control system.
22. A disk drive device comprising:
a head gimbal assembly including a flex cable frame assembly, a slider, and a suspension that supports the flex cable frame assembly and slider;
a drive arm connected to the head gimbal assembly;
a disk; and
a spindle motor operable to spin the disk,
wherein the flex cable frame assembly includes:
a micro-actuator frame including a bottom support, a top support and a pair of side arms that interconnect the bottom support and the top support; and
a frame flex cable mounted to the micro-actuator frame, the frame flex cable including an insulated layer that is a plate body, a first set of bonding pads provided to one end of the insulated layer, a second set of bonding pads provided to an opposing end of the insulated layer, and a trace integrated to the frame flex cable that interconnects the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.
23. A method for manufacturing a head gimbal assembly, comprising:
providing a micro-actuator frame including a bottom support, a top support and a pair of side arms that interconnect the bottom support and the top support;
mounting a frame flex cable to the micro-actuator frame that provides an insulated layer that is a plate body, a first and second set of bonding pads and an integrated trace that interconnects the first and second set of bonding pads;
mounting a PZT element to the micro-actuator frame;
mounting the micro-actuator frame to a suspension;
electrically connecting the PZT element to suspension traces provided on the suspension;
mounting a slider to the micro-actuator frame;
electrically connecting the slider to suspension traces provided on the suspension;
performing a visual inspection;
testing slider and PZT performance; and
cleaning.
24. The method according to claim 23, further comprising mounting a suspension flex cable to the suspension that provides integrated suspension traces adapted to be connected to an external control system.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to information recording disk drive devices and, more particularly, to a micro-actuator and a suspension for a head gimbal assembly (HGA) of the disk drive device. More specifically, the present invention is directed to a micro-actuator and a suspension that is structured to reduce trace vibrations.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One known type of information storage device is a disk drive device that uses magnetic media to store data and a movable read/write head that is positioned over the media to selectively read from or write to the disk.

Consumers are constantly desiring greater storage capacity for such disk drive devices, as well as faster and more accurate reading and writing operations. Thus, disk drive manufacturers have continued to develop higher capacity disk drives by, for example, increasing the density of the information tracks on the disks by using a narrower track width and/or a narrower track pitch. However, each increase in track density requires that the disk drive device have a corresponding increase in the positional control of the read/write head in order to enable quick and accurate reading and writing operations using the higher density disks. As track density increases, it becomes more and more difficult using known technology to quickly and accurately position the read/write head over the desired information tracks on the storage media. Thus, disk drive manufacturers are constantly seeking ways to improve the positional control of the read/write head in order to take advantage of the continual increases in track density.

One approach that has been effectively used by disk drive manufacturers to improve the positional control of read/write heads for higher density disks is to employ a secondary actuator, known as a micro-actuator, that works in conjunction with a primary actuator to enable quick and accurate positional control for the read/write head. Disk drives that incorporate a micro-actuator are known as dual-stage actuator systems.

Various dual-stage actuator systems have been developed in the past for the purpose of increasing the access speed and fine tuning the position of the read/write head over the desired tracks on high density storage media. Such dual-stage actuator systems typically include a primary voice-coil motor (VCM) actuator and a secondary micro-actuator, such as a PZT element micro-actuator. The VCM actuator is controlled by a servo control system that rotates the actuator arm that supports the read/write head to position the read/write head over the desired information track on the storage media. The PZT element micro-actuator is used in conjunction with the VCM actuator for the purpose of increasing the positioning access speed and fine tuning the exact position of the read/write head over the desired track. Thus, the VCM actuator makes larger adjustments to the position of the read/write head, while the PZT element micro-actuator makes smaller adjustments that fine tune the position of the read/write head relative to the storage media. In conjunction, the VCM actuator and the PZT element micro-actuator enable information to be efficiently and accurately written to and read from high density storage media.

One known type of micro-actuator incorporates PZT elements for causing fine positional adjustments of the read/write head. Such PZT micro-actuators include associated electronics that are operable to excite the PZT elements on the micro-actuator to selectively cause expansion or contraction thereof. The PZT micro-actuator is configured such that expansion or contraction of the PZT elements causes movement of the micro-actuator which, in turn, causes movement of the read/write head. This movement is used to make faster and finer adjustments to the position of the read/write head, as compared to a disk drive unit that uses only a VCM actuator. Exemplary PZT micro-actuators are disclosed in, for example, JP 2002-133803, entitled “Micro-actuator and HGA” and JP 2002-074871, entitled “Head Gimbal Assembly Equipped with Actuator for Fine Position, Disk Drive Equipped with Head Gimbals Assembly, and Manufacture Method for Head Gimbal Assembly.”

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional disk drive unit and show a magnetic disk 101 mounted on a spindle motor 102 for spinning the disk 101. A voice coil motor arm 104 carries a head gimbal assembly (HGA) 100 that includes a micro-actuator 105 with a slider 103 incorporating a read/write head. A voice-coil motor (VCM) is provided for controlling the motion of the motor arm 104 and, in turn, controlling the slider 103 to move from track to track across the surface of the disk 101, thereby enabling the read/write head to read data from or write data to the disk 101. In operation, a lift force is generated by the aerodynamic interaction between the slider 103, incorporating the read/write transducer, and the spinning magnetic disk 101. The lift force is opposed by equal and opposite spring forces applied by a suspension of the HGA 100 such that a predetermined flying height above the surface of the spinning disk 101 is maintained over a full radial stroke of the motor arm 104.

FIG. 2 illustrates the head gimbal assembly (HGA) 100 of the conventional disk drive device of FIG. 1 incorporating a dual-stage actuator. However, because of the inherent tolerances of the VCM and the head suspension assembly, the slider 103 cannot achieve quick and fine position control which adversely impacts the ability of the read/write head to accurately read data from and write data to the disk. As a result, a PZT micro-actuator 105, as described above, is provided in order to improve the positional control of the slider and the read/write head. More particularly, the PZT micro-actuator 105 corrects the displacement of the slider 103 on a much smaller scale, as compared to the VCM, in order to compensate for the resonance tolerance of the VCM and/or head suspension assembly. The micro-actuator 105 enables, for example, the use of a smaller recording track pitch, and can increase the “tracks-per-inch” (TPI) value by 50% for the disk drive unit, as well as provide an advantageous reduction in the head seeking and settling time. Thus, the PZT micro-actuator 105 enables the disk drive device to have a significant increase in the surface recording density of the information storage disks used therein.

As shown in FIG. 2, the HGA 100 includes a suspension 106 having a flexure 108. The flexure 108 provides a suspension tongue 110 to load the PZT micro-actuator 105 and the slider 103. Two outwardly protruding traces 112, 114 are provided to the flexure 108 on opposite sides of the suspension tongue 110. Each of the traces 112, 114 has one end portion connected with a float plate 116 and another end portion connected with multi traces 118 that are electrically connected to bonding pads 120.

Referring to FIG. 3, a conventional PZT micro-actuator 105 includes a metal frame 130 which has a top support 132, a bottom support 134, and two side arms 136, 138 that interconnect the two supports 132 and 134. The side arms 136, 138 each have a PZT element 140, 142 attached thereto. The slider 103 is supported on the top support 132.

Referring to FIG. 4, the PZT micro-actuator 105 is physically coupled to the suspension tongue 110 by the bottom support 134 of the frame 130. The bottom support 134 may be mounted on the suspension tongue 110 by epoxy or laser welding, for example. Three electrical connection balls 150 (gold ball bonding or solder ball bonding, GBB or SBB) are provided to couple the PZT micro-actuator 105 to the suspension traces 118 located at the side of each PZT element 140, 142. In addition, there are multi electric balls, for example, four metal balls 152 (GBB or SBB) for coupling the slider 103 to the traces 118 for electrical connection of the read/write transducers. When power is supplied through the suspension traces 118, the PZT elements 140, 142 expand or contract to cause the two side arms 136, 138 to bend in a common lateral direction. The bending causes a shear deformation of the frame 130, e.g., the rectangular shape of the frame becomes approximately a parallelogram, which causes movement of the top support 132. This causes movement of the slider 103 connected thereto, thereby making the slider 103 move on the track of the disk in order to fine tune the position of the read/write head. In this manner, controlled displacement of slider 103 can be achieved for fine positional tuning.

FIG. 5 illustrates how the PZT micro-actuator 105 works when a voltage is applied to the PZT elements 140, 142. For example, when a positive sine voltage is input to the PZT element 140 of the micro-actuator which has a positive polarization, in the first half period, the PZT element 140 will shrink and cause the side arm 136 to deform as a water waveform shape. Since the slider 103 is mounted on the top support 132, this deformation will cause the slider to move towards the left side. Likewise, when a negative sine voltage is input to the PZT element 142 of the micro-actuator which has a positive polarization, in the second half period, the PZT element 142 will shrink and cause the side arm 138 to deform as a water waveform shape. This deformation will cause the slider 103 to move towards the right side. Of course, this operation may depend on the electric control circle and PZT element polarization direction, but the work principle is well known.

Referring to FIG. 6, two outwardly protruding traces 112, 114 have to be used to electrically connect the multi-traces 118 with the float plate 116 which is electrically connected with the slider 103. In order to reduce the trace resistance due to stiffness of the trace and maintain the micro-actuator function during operation, the traces 112, 114 are shaped so as to curve and extend on opposite sides of the suspension tongue 110. This arrangement allows the traces 112, 114 to vibrate and move when the micro-actuator is operated during head seeking or settling operations in the disk drive device, which will cause the slider to be off-track. For a high RPM multi-plate disk drive device, the outwardly curved traces 112, 114 will also cause a windage problem as air flow hits the traces or suspension. Both of these issues will cause slider PES (positional error signal) and NRRO (non-repeatable runout) performance to worsen, which will limit the capacity and performance of the disk drive device.

For example, FIG. 6 illustrates the motion of the traces 112, 114 when the micro-actuator 105 is operated. As illustrated, when a voltage is input to the micro-actuator 105, movement of the side arms 136, 138 may cause the trace 112 to sway to the back side of the suspension 106 and the other trace 114 to sway to the top side of the slider 103. This kind of motion will cause a suspension resonance motion, which is one of the sources that causes the slider to be off-track.

FIG. 7 illustrates the head off track (displacement) caused by trace motion for a prior art design when the micro-actuator is operated. As discussed above, the prior art design includes outwardly protruding traces 112, 114. The head off track displacement due to the traces motion is measured against the frequency. As illustrated, the head off track displacement trend includes three peaks 160 (e.g., at 4 Khz, 6.3 kHz, and 8.5 Khz).

FIG. 8 illustrates related measurement data of the slider head NRRO performance for a prior art design. As illustrated, the peaks 170 show a slider head off track percentage with a different frequency. This shows a relatively large head off track due to the trace motion.

Thus, there is a need for an improved system that does not suffer from the above-mentioned drawbacks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the present invention relates to a micro-actuator and a suspension structured to reduce trace vibrations.

Another aspect of the invention relates to a micro-actuator having a flex cable frame assembly and a suspension having a flex cable suspension assembly.

Another aspect of the invention relates to a flex cable frame assembly for a head gimbal assembly. The flex cable frame assembly includes a micro-actuator frame and a flex cable mounted to the micro-actuator frame. The flex cable includes a first set of bonding pads provided to one end of the flex cable, a second set of bonding pads provided to an opposing end of the flex cable, and a trace integrated to the flex cable that interconnects the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.

Another aspect of the invention relates to a head gimbal assembly including a flex cable frame assembly including a micro-actuator frame and a frame flex cable mounted to the micro-actuator frame, a slider, and a suspension that supports the flex cable frame assembly and the slider. The suspension includes a flex cable suspension assembly having a suspension flexure and suspension flex cable mounted to the suspension flexure.

Yet another aspect of the invention relates to a disk drive device. The disk drive device includes a head gimbal assembly including a flex cable frame assembly, a slider, and a suspension that supports the flex cable frame assembly and slider. The disk drive device also includes a drive arm connected to the head gimbal assembly, a disk, and a spindle motor operable to spin the disk. The flex cable frame assembly includes a micro-actuator frame and a flex cable mounted to the micro-actuator frame. The flex cable includes a first set of bonding pads provided to one end of the flex cable, a second set of bonding pads provided to an opposing end of the flex cable, and a trace integrated to the flex cable that interconnects the first set of bonding pads and the second set of bonding pads.

Still another aspect of the invention relates to a method for manufacturing a head gimbal assembly. The method includes providing a micro-actuator frame, mounting a frame flex cable to the micro-actuator frame that provides a first and second set of bonding pads and an integrated trace that interconnects the first and second set of bonding pads, mounting a PZT element to the micro-actuator frame, mounting the micro-actuator frame to a suspension, electrically connecting the PZT element to suspension traces provided on the suspension, mounting a slider to the micro-actuator frame, electrically connecting the slider to suspension traces provided on the suspension, performing a visual inspection, testing slider and PZT performance, and cleaning.

Other aspects, features, and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which are a part of this disclosure and which illustrate, by way of example, principles of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings facilitate an understanding of the various embodiments of this invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional disk drive unit;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a conventional head gimbal assembly (HGA);

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a slider and PZT micro-actuator of the HGA shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the HGA shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the slider and PZT micro-actuator of the HGA shown in FIG. 2 in use;

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the HGA shown in FIG. 2 in use;

FIG. 7 shows the head off track displacement due to trace motion for a prior art design;

FIG. 8 shows slider head NRRO performance for a prior art design;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a head gimbal assembly (HGA) including a PZT micro-actuator according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a partial perspective view of the HGA shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an exploded view of the HGA shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a side view of the HGA shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the PZT micro-actuator shown in FIG. 9 isolated from the slider and suspension;

FIG. 14 is an exploded view of the PZT micro-actuator shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 shows the head off track displacement due to trace motion for the HGA shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 16 shows slider head NRRO performance for the HGA shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 17 is a flow chart illustrating a manufacturing process according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is an exploded view of a HGA including a PZT micro-actuator and a suspension according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the HGA shown in FIG. 18 in an assembled condition;

FIG. 20 is a partial perspective view of the HGA shown in FIG. 18;

FIG. 21 is a flow chart illustrating a manufacturing process according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 22 is an exploded view of a HGA according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a HGA including a PZT micro-actuator according to yet another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of a HGA including a PZT micro-actuator according to still another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

Various preferred embodiments of the instant invention will now be described with reference to the figures, wherein like reference numerals designate similar parts throughout the various views. As indicated above, the instant invention is designed to reduce trace vibrations in a head gimbal assembly (HGA) while precisely actuating the slider using the micro-actuator. An aspect of the instant invention is to provide a micro-actuator that includes a flex cable frame assembly configured to reduce trace vibrations in the HGA. Another aspect of the instant invention is to provide a suspension that includes a flex cable suspension assembly configured to reduce trace vibrations in the HGA. By reducing the trace vibrations in the HGA, the performance characteristics of the device are improved.

Several example embodiments of a micro-actuator and a suspension for a HGA will now be described. It is noted that the micro-actuator and the suspension may be implemented in any suitable disk drive device having a micro-actuator and a suspension in which it is desired to reduce trace vibrations, regardless of the specific structure of the HGA as illustrated in the figures. That is, the invention may be used in any suitable device having a micro-actuator and a suspension in any industry.

FIGS. 9-12 illustrate a head gimbal assembly (HGA) 210 incorporating a PZT micro-actuator 212 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The HGA 210 includes a PZT micro-actuator 212, a slider 214, and a suspension 216 to load or suspend the PZT micro-actuator 212 and the slider 214.

As illustrated, the suspension 216 includes a base plate 218, a load beam 220, a hinge 222, a flexure 224, and inner and outer suspension traces 226, 227 in the flexure 224. The base plate 218 includes a mounting hole 228 for use in connecting the suspension 216 to a drive arm of a voice coil motor (VCM) of a disk drive device. The shape of the base plate 218 may vary depending on the configuration or model of the disk drive device. Also, the base plate 218 is constructed of a relatively hard or rigid material, e.g., metal, to stably support the suspension 216 on the drive arm of the VCM.

The hinge 222 is mounted onto the base plate 218 and load beam 220, e.g., by welding. As illustrated, the hinge 222 includes a hole 230 that align with the hole 228 provided in the base plate 218. Also, the hinge 222 includes a holder bar 232 for supporting the load beam 220.

The load beam 220 is mounted onto the holder bar 232 of the hinge 222, e.g., by welding. The load beam 220 has a dimple 234 formed thereon for engaging the flexure 224 (see FIG. 12). The load beam 220 functions as a spring or shock absorber to buffer the suspension 216 from the slider 214. An optional lift tab 236 may be provided on the load beam 220 to lift the HGA 210 from the disk when the disk is not rotated.

The flexure 224 is mounted to the hinge 222 and the load beam 220, e.g., by lamination or welding. The flexure 224 provides a suspension tongue 238 to couple the PZT micro-actuator 212 to the suspension 216 (see FIG. 11). The suspension tongue 238 engages the dimple 234 on the load beam 220. Also, the suspension traces 226, 227 are provided on the flexure 224 to electrically connect a plurality of connection pads 240 (which connect to an external control system) with the slider 214 and the PZT elements 242 on the PZT micro-actuator 212. The suspension traces 226, 227 may be a flexible printed circuit (FPC) and may include any suitable number of lines.

As best shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, bonding pads 244 are directly connected to the inner suspension traces 226 to electrically connect the inner suspension traces 226 with bonding pads 246 provided on the flex cable frame assembly of the PZT micro-actuator 212, which is electrically connected to the slider 214. Also, bonding pads 248 are directly connected to the outer suspension traces 227 to electrically connect the outer suspension traces 227 with bonding pads 250 provided on the PZT elements 242.

A voice-coil motor (VCM) is provided in the disk drive device for controllably driving the drive arm and, in turn, the HGA 210 in order to enable the HGA 210 to position the slider 214, and associated read/write head, over any desired information track on a disk in the disk drive device. The PZT micro-actuator 212 is provided to enable faster and finer positional control for the device, as well as to reduce the head seeking and settling time during operation. Thus, when the HGA 210 is incorporated into a disk drive device, a dual-stage actuator system is provided in which the VCM actuator provides large positional adjustments and the PZT micro-actuator 212 provides fine positional adjustments for the read/write head.

FIGS. 11, 13, and 14 illustrate the PZT micro-actuator 212 isolated from the slider 214 and the suspension 216. As illustrated, the PZT micro-actuator 212 includes a flex cable frame assembly 255 and PZT elements 242 mounted to the flex cable frame assembly 255. The flex cable frame assembly 255 includes a micro-actuator frame 252 and a frame flex cable 257.

The micro-actuator frame 252 includes a top support 254, a bottom support 256, side arms 258 that interconnect the top support 254 and bottom support 256, and a bonding pad support 260 that extends from the top support 254. The micro-actuator frame 252 may be constructed of any suitable material, e.g., metal, and may be constructed using any suitable process.

A PZT element 242 is mounted to each of the side arms 258 of the micro-actuator frame 252, e.g., by epoxy, adhesive, or ACF, to provide the PZT micro-actuator 212. Each PZT element 242 has a plate-like shape and may be formed by laminated thin films consisting of piezoelectric material such as PZT and Ni—Ag or Pt or gold metal as electrode. In another embodiment, the PZT element 242 may be a ceramic PZT with a single layer or a multi-layer. However, one or more PZT elements 242 may be mounted to the side arms 258 in any suitable manner.

The flex cable 257 includes an insulated layer 261 having a top end portion 263, a bottom end portion 265, and an intermediate portion 267 that interconnects the top end portion 263 and the bottom end portion 265. As illustrated, the intermediate portion 267 include edges that curve inwardly towards one another to provide a weak point between the top end portion 263 and the bottom end portion 265. Slider bonding pads 264, e.g., four bonding pads, are provided on the top end portion 263 and suspension bonding pads 246, e.g., four bonding pads, are provided on the bottom end portion 265. The slider bonding pads 264 are electrically connected to the suspension bonding pads 246 through traces 266 integrated into the insulated layer 261.

The flex cable 257 is mounted to the micro-actuator frame 252 by mounting the top end portion 263 of the insulated layer 261 to the top support 254 of the frame 252 and mounting the bottom end portion 265 of the insulated layer 261 to the bottom support 256 of the frame 252. The insulated layer 261 may be mounted to the micro-actuator frame 252 by epoxy, adhesive, or ACF, for example.

As best shown in FIG. 10, the bottom support 256 of the frame 252 is structured to connect the PZT micro-actuator frame 212 to the suspension 216. Specifically, the bottom support 256 is partially mounted to the suspension tongue 238 of the flexure 224, e.g., by epoxy, resin, or welding by laser. The suspension bonding pads 246 of the flex cable 257 are electrically coupled by electric connections 262 with respective bonding pads 244 provided on the suspension 216, e.g., by wire bonding. This connects the bottom support 256 to the suspension 216 and electrically connects the flex cable 257 with the inner suspension traces 226. Also, a parallel gap 280 is provided between the suspension tongue 238 and the PZT micro-actuator 212 to allow the PZT micro-actuator 212 to move freely in use, as shown in FIG. 12.

The top support 254 of the frame 252 and the top end portion 263 of the flex cable 257 are structured to connect the PZT micro-actuator 212 to the slider 214. Specifically, the slider 214 has bonding pads 268, e.g., four bonding pads, on an end thereof corresponding to the slider bonding pads 264 of the flex cable. The top support 254 and the top end portion 263 support the slider 214 thereon and the slider bonding pads 264 of the flex cable 257 are electrically bonded with respective pads 268 provided on the slider 214 using, for example, electric connection balls (GBB or SBB) 270 (see FIGS. 10 and 12). This connects the PZT micro-actuator 212 to the slider 214 to provide a slider and PZT micro-actuator assembly 274 and electrically connects the slider 214 and its read/write elements to the inner suspension traces 226 on the suspension 216.

In the illustrated embodiment, the trace 266 includes four lines between the four slider bonding pads 264 and the four suspension bonding pads 246. However, any suitable number of pads and trace lines may be used.

The PZT elements 242 provided on the PZT micro-actuator 212 are electrically connected to the outer suspension traces 227. Specifically, the bonding pads 250, e.g., two bonding pads, provided on the PZT elements 242 are electrically connected to the bonding pads 248, e.g., two bonding pads, on the outer suspension traces 227 using electrical connection balls (GBB or SBB) 276. This allows power to be applied via the outer suspension traces 227 to the PZT elements 242.

In use, the PZT elements 242 are excited, e.g., by applying voltage thereto, to selectively cause expansion or contraction thereof. The PZT micro-actuator 212 is configured such that expansion or contraction of the PZT elements 242 causes movement of the side arms 258, which causes movement of the top support 254, which, in turn, causes movement of the slider 214 coupled thereto.

Because the trace 266 is integrated into the flex cable 257 and the bonding pad support 260 is integrated into the micro-actuator frame 252, these components are not subject to excessive vibration when the PZT micro-actuator 212 is operated. By reducing the trace vibrations in the HGA, the performance characteristics of the disk drive device are improved. Moreover, PZT micro-actuator 212 with integrated trace 266 and bonding pad support 260 improves the process yield as these components are not easily deformed during the manufacture of the suspension, HGA, and disk drive device. Further, the frame 252 and flex cable 257 are relatively simple in structure with a relatively simple manufacturing process, which provides a lower cost design and manufacturing method.

FIG. 15 illustrates the head off track displacement due to trace motion when the PZT micro-actuator 212 is operated. When compared to the results of the prior art design in FIG. 7, the three peaks 284 of FIG. 15 are improved with respect to the three peaks 160 of FIG. 7 (e.g., at 4 Khz, 6.3 kHz, and 8.5 Khz).

FIG. 16 illustrates testing data of slider head NRRO performance for the PZT micro-actuator 212. When compared to the results of the prior art design in FIG. 8, the peaks 286 of FIG. 16 are improved with respect to the peaks 170 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 17 illustrates the primary steps involved in the manufacturing and assembly process of a head gimbal assembly according to an embodiment of the present invention. After the process starts (step 1 of FIG. 17), the flex cable is mounted to the micro-actuator frame (step 2 of FIG. 17). The flex cable and micro-actuator frame may be of the type described above in FIGS. 9-14. Then, PZT elements are mounted to side arms of the micro-actuator frame (step 3 of FIG. 17) to provide PZT micro-actuator. Then, the micro-actuator frame of the PZT micro-actuator is mounted, e.g., by welding, to the suspension tongue of the suspension (step 4 of FIG. 17). After mounting, the PZT elements are electrically connected with suspension traces provided on the suspension (step 5 of FIG. 17). Next, the slider is mounted to the PZT micro-actuator (step 6 of FIG. 17), and then the slider is electrically connected with suspension traces provided on the suspension (step 7 of FIG. 17). The head gimbal assembly is visually inspected (step 8 of FIG. 17), and slider and PZT performance testing is conducted (step 9 of FIG. 17). In the final step, the head gimbal assembly is cleaned (step 10 of FIG. 17).

FIGS. 18-20 illustrates a head gimbal assembly (HGA) 310 incorporating a PZT micro-actuator 312 and a suspension 316 according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the PZT micro-actuator 312 includes a flex cable frame assembly 355 wherein the flex cable 357 includes an extension 394, e.g., long tail leader, to facilitate connection with the suspension 316. Also, the suspension 316 includes a flex cable suspension assembly 300 that is mounted to the flexure 324.

As best shown in FIG. 18, the suspension 316 includes a base plate 318, a hinge 322 mounted onto the base plate 318, a load beam 320 mounted onto the holder bar of the hinge 322, and a flexure 324 mounted to the hinge 322 and the load beam 320. The flexure 324 provides a suspension tongue 338 that engages the dimple provided on the load beam 320 (similar to FIG. 12). The base plate 318, the hinge 222, the load beam 320, and the flexure 324 may be mounted to one another by welding, for example.

The flex cable suspension assembly 300 includes a suspension flex cable 302 that provides an insulated layer 304. Inner and outer suspension traces 326, 327 are integrated, e.g., laminated, into the insulated layer 304. One end of the inner suspension traces 326 is electrically connected to a plurality of connection pads 340 (which connect to an external control system), and the opposite end of the inner suspension traces 326 is electrically connected to bonding pads 344 (which connect to the slider 314). Also, one end of the outer suspension traces 327 is electrically connected to the plurality of connection pads 340 (which connect to an external control system), and the opposite end of the outer suspension traces 327 is electrically connected to bonding pads 348 (which connect to the PZT elements 342).

The flex cable frame assembly 355 includes a micro-actuator frame 352 and a frame flex cable 357. The micro-actuator frame 352 is substantially similar to the micro-actuator frame 252 and includes top support 354, bottom support 356, side arms 358, and bonding pad support 360. A PZT element 342 is mounted to each of the side arms 358.

The flex cable 357 includes an insulated layer 361 having a top end portion 363 and a bottom end portion 365. Traces 366 are integrated into the insulated layer 361 and provide the extension 394, e.g., long tail leader. Slider bonding pads 364, e.g., four bonding pads, are provided on the top end portion 363 and suspension bonding pads 346, e.g., four bonding pads, are provided on the extension 394. In an embodiment, the suspension bonding pads 346 may be double-sided exposed copper leads. The slider bonding pads 364 are electrically connected to the suspension bonding pads 346 through the traces 366.

The flex cable 357 is mounted to the micro-actuator frame 352 by mounting the top end portion 363 of the insulated layer 361 to the top support 354 of the frame 352 and mounting the bottom end portion 365 of the insulated layer 361 to the bottom support 356 of the frame 352. The insulated layer 361 may be mounted to the micro-actuator frame 352 by epoxy, adhesive, or ACF, for example.

As best shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, the flex cable 302 is mounted to the flexure 324 of the suspension 316, e.g., epoxy or adhesive. As illustrated in FIG. 18, the flex cable 302 includes a tongue portion 306 that is supported by the suspension tongue 338 of the flexure 324.

The bottom support 356 of the frame 352 is mounted to the suspension tongue 338 of the flexure 324 and the tongue portion 306 of the flex cable 302, e.g., by epoxy or adhesive. The suspension bonding pads 346 of the flex cable 357 are electrically coupled with respective bonding pads 344 provided on the flex cable 302, e.g., by ultrasonic bonding or ACF bonding. This connects the bottom support 356 to the suspension 316 and electrically connects the flex cable 357 with the inner suspension traces 326.

The top support 354 of the frame 352 and the top end portion 363 of the flex cable 357 are structured to connect the PZT micro-actuator 312 to the slider 314. Specifically, the top support 354 and the top end portion 363 support the slider 314 thereon and the slider bonding pads 364 of the flex cable 357 are electrically bonded with respective bonding pads 368 provided on the slider 314 using, for example, electric connection balls (GBB or SBB) 370 (see FIG. 20). This connects the PZT micro-actuator 312 to the slider 314 to provide a slider and PZT micro-actuator assembly 374 and electrically connects the slider 314 and its read/write elements to the inner suspension traces 326.

The PZT elements 342 provided on the PZT micro-actuator 312 are electrically connected to the outer suspension traces 327. Specifically, bonding pads provided on the PZT elements 342 are electrically connected to the bonding pads 348, e.g., two bonding pads, on the outer suspension traces 327 using electrical connection balls (GBB or SBB) 376 (see FIG. 20). This allows power to be applied via the outer suspension traces 327 to the PZT elements 342.

Because the trace 366 is integrated into the flex cable 357, the traces 326, 327 are integrated into the flex cable 302, and the bonding pad support 360 is integrated into the micro-actuator frame 352, these components are not subject to excessive vibration when the PZT micro-actuator 312 is operated. By reducing the trace vibrations in the HGA, the performance characteristics of the disk drive device are improved. Moreover, the integrated components improve the process yield as these components are not easily deformed during the manufacture of the suspension, HGA, and disk drive device. Further, the frame 352, the suspension 316, the flex cable 357, and the flex cable 302 are relatively simple in structure with a relatively simple manufacturing process, which provides a lower cost design and manufacturing method.

FIG. 21 illustrates the primary steps involved in the manufacturing and assembly process of a head gimbal assembly according to another embodiment of the present invention. After the process starts (step 1 of FIG. 21), the frame flex cable is mounted to the micro-actuator frame (step 2 of FIG. 21). The frame flex cable and micro-actuator frame may be of the type described above in FIGS. 18-20. Then, PZT elements are mounted to side arms of the micro-actuator frame (step 3 of FIG. 21) to provide PZT micro-actuator. Then, the suspension flex cable is mounted to the flexure of the suspension (step 4 of FIG. 21). The suspension flex cable and suspension may be of the type described above in FIGS. 18-20. Next, the micro-actuator frame of the PZT micro-actuator is mounted, e.g., by welding, to the suspension (step 5 of FIG. 21). After mounting, the PZT elements are electrically connected with suspension traces provided on the suspension (step 6 of FIG. 21). Next, the slider is mounted to the PZT micro-actuator (step 7 of FIG. 21), and then the slider is electrically connected with suspension traces provided on the suspension (step 8 of FIG. 21). The head gimbal assembly is visually inspected (step 9 of FIG. 21), and slider and PZT performance testing is conducted (step 10 of FIG. 21). In the final step, the head gimbal assembly is cleaned (step 11 of FIG. 21).

FIG. 22 illustrates a head gimbal assembly (HGA) 410 according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the suspension flex cable 402 is integrated into the flexure 424 of the suspension 416. The remaining components of the HGA 410 are substantially similar to the HGA 310 and indicated with similar reference numerals.

FIG. 23 illustrates a head gimbal assembly (HGA) 510 according to yet another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the PZT micro-actuator 512 includes a frame flex cable 557 that is provided on the back side of the frame 552. As illustrated, an opening or window 590 is provided in the bonding pad support 560 in order to expose the slider bonding pads 564 for bonding with the slider 214. In the illustrated embodiment, the slider bonding pads 564 are in the form of fly lead pads. Also, ACF 592 or other suitable material may be used to physically and electrically couple the suspension bonding pads 546 to the pads 244 provided on the suspension 216. The remaining components of the HGA 510 are substantially similar to the HGA 210 and indicated with similar reference numerals.

FIG. 24 illustrates a head gimbal assembly (HGA) 610 according to still another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the PZT micro-actuator 612 includes a frame flex cable 657 that has an extension 694, e.g., long tail leader, to facilitate connection with the suspension 616. Further, the flex cable 657 is provided on the back side of the frame 652. As illustrated, an opening or window 690 is provided in the bonding pad support 660 in order to expose the slider bonding pads 664 for bonding with the slider 314. The remaining components of the HGA 610 are substantially similar to the HGA 310 and indicated with similar reference numerals. It is noted that the suspension 616 includes a suspension flex cable 302 that may or may not be integrated into the flexure 324.

A head gimbal assembly incorporating a PZT micro-actuator and suspension according to embodiments of the present invention may be provided to a disk drive device (HDD). The HDD may be of the type described above in connection with FIG. 1. Because the structure, operation and assembly processes of disk drive devices are well known to persons of ordinary skill in the art, further details regarding the disk drive device are not provided herein so as not to obscure the invention. The PZT micro-actuator and suspension can be implemented in any suitable disk drive device having a micro-actuator and suspension or any other device with a micro-actuator and suspension. In an embodiment, the PZT micro-actuator and suspension is used in a high RPM disk drive device.

While the invention has been described in connection with what are presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the invention.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification360/265
International ClassificationG11B5/56
Cooperative ClassificationG11B5/5552, G11B5/486
European ClassificationG11B5/48A7, G11B5/55D2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 2, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: SAE MAGNETICS (H.K.) LTD.,HONG KONG
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:YAO, MINGGAO;REEL/FRAME:017173/0590
Effective date: 20050927
Sep 27, 2013REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Feb 16, 2014LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Apr 8, 2014FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20140216